When people look at my pictures, I want them to feel the way they do when they want to read a line of a poem twice.Robert Frank
We take the word processor for granted but fifty years ago it didn’t even exist. That is, until Evelyn Berezin came along and produced the first standalone word processing machine. She previously had made the world’s first bank and airline system software.
She called her machine the Data Secretary, thinking that the new technology would eradicate the role of the human secretary.
The machine itself stood 40 inches high and contained thirteen semiconductor chips that Berezin patented. Unlike machines of past this one could delete, cut, copy, and paste — features we find ubiquitous today.
Berezin thrived in a man’s world, crushing all stereotypes that came her way. She felt compelled to lead the way in computer technology. Author and blogger Gwyn Headley sums it up perfectly:
“Without Ms. Berezin, there would be no Bill Gates, no Steve Jobs, no internet, no word processors, no spreadsheets; nothing that remotely connects business with the 21st century.”
Her influence is profound. One to remember.
Photo by Barton Silverman/New York Times
Whipsawed by family relocations, young John attended some 20 schools before finally settling into Episcopal High School, an all-white, all-boys boarding school in Alexandria, Va., in the fall of 1951 for his last three years of secondary education. The school, with an all-male faculty and enrollments drawn mostly from upper-crust families of the Old South, required jackets and ties for classes.
But the scion of one of the Navy’s most illustrious families was defiant and unruly. He mocked the dress code by wearing dirty bluejeans. His shoes were held together with tape, and his coat looked like a reject from the Salvation Army. He was cocky and combative, easily provoked and ready to fight anyone. Classmates called him McNasty. Most gave him a wide berth.
“He cultivated the image,” Robert Timberg wrote in a biography, “John McCain: An American Odyssey” (1995). “The Episcopal yearbook pictures him in a trench coat, collar up, cigarette dangling Bogey-style from his lips. That pose, if hardly the impression Episcopal sought to project, at least had a fashionable world-weary style to it.”
Stay hungry. Stay curious. And above all, stay interesting.
Queens of the Stone Age lead singer Josh Homme, who wrote a song for Bourdain’s Parts Unknown, said it best:
He was such a beautiful contagion. He presented such a fascinating doorway to so many other things that aren’t within your narrow doorway of what you do.
Bourdain shared so many important messages on keeping an open eye on life and work. Below are some of my favorite Bourdain quotes as posted on this blog throughout the years.
Don’t aspire to mediocrity. Even if you fail, try to be awesome. At something. Anything. It doesn’t matter. Just try to be awesome.
Life ain’t that simple. It IS complicated. And filled with nuance worth exploring.
If I’m an advocate for anything, it’s to move. As far as you can, as much as you can. Across the ocean, or simply across the river. The extent to which you can walk in someone else’s shoes or at least eat their food, it’s a plus for everybody.
Open your mind, get up off the couch, move.”
Show up on time. It is the basis of everything.
We literally sit down and try to figure out, ‘What’s the most fucked-up thing we can do?’
I love having my teeth kicked in by a different perspective.
There are the type of people who are going to live up to what they said they were going to do yesterday and then there are people who are full of shit. And that’s all you really need to know. If you can’t be bothered to show up, why should anybody show up. It’s just the end of the fucking world.
If I’m an advocate for anything, it’s to move. As far as you can, as much as you can. Across the ocean or simply across the river. Walk in someone else’s shoes or, at least, eat their food.Anthony Bourdain
“Writing turns you into someone who’s always wrong. The illusion that you may get it right is the perversity that draws you on.”Philip Roth
In 2016, Roth donated 3,500 of his books to his hometown library in Newark, his ‘other home.’ Among those were the fifteen books Roth said influenced his life the most.
- Citizen Tom Paine by Howard Fast, first read at age 14
- Finnley Wren by Philip Wylie, first read at age 16
- Look Homeward Angel by Thomas Wolfe, first read at age 17
- Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger, first read at age 20
- The Adventures of Augie March by Saul Bellow, first read at age 21
- A Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemingway, first read at age 23
- The Assistant by Bernard Malamud, first read at age 24
- Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert, first read at age 25
- The Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner, first read at age 25
- The Trial by Franz Kafka, first read at age 27
- The Fall by Albert Camus, first read at age 30
- Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky, first read at age 35
- Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy, first read at age 37
- Cheri by Colette, first read at age 40
- Street of Crocodiles by Bruno Schulz, first read at age 41
RIP Bill Gold, considered one of the best movie poster artists of all-time. Below are a couple snippets from the obituary in the New York Times but the whole article is worth reading.
Long before poster artists turned to photography and computer-generated images in the 1980s and ’90s, illustrators like Mr. Gold billboarded movies with freehand drawings, based on scripts and first screen prints, that hinted at plots and moods and mysteries, without giving away too much — priming audiences for love, betrayal, jealousy, murder.
“Classic movie posters are memorable; they are held in as much affection as the movies themselves,” Lars Trodson wrote on the film website The Roundtable in 2009. “When a classic movie is matched by a classic poster, you’re held in the thrall of a distinct and pleasurable memory. The poster image becomes part of the movie experience, and is, in the end, another of the reasons why movies are so essential to us.”
“I’d rather be a lightning rod than a seismograph.”Tom Wolfe, The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test
“The greatest enemy of knowledge is not ignorance, it is the illusion of knowledge.”
Stephen Hawking was a visionary physicist who explored the universe and explained black holes. His 1988 release of A Brief History of Time remains one of the greatest selling science books of all-time.
But was perhaps best known for his remarkable endurance. Doctors gave him two years to live in 1963 after he was diagnosed with motor neuron disease which crippled him. He lost his voice in 1985, only to come back to write and talk via an Intel-powered speaking device. “Quiet people have the loudest minds,” he proclaimed.
Stephen Hawking lived to a remarkable 75 years old, born on the 300th anniversary of Galileo’s death and dying today on Einstein’s birthday. The University of Cambridge celebrated his life with an inspirational montage with a Hawking voiceover.
“People who boast about their IQ are losers”
The cosmos queued him up to be a genius, but also a lifelong comedian. “Life would be tragic if it weren’t funny,” Hawking told The New York Times in 2004 interview. He also said that “people who boast about their IQ are losers.”
Fortunately, he left his work for all of us. Just last year he released his 1966 PhD thesis titled ‘Properties of expanding universes’ to the public because he wanted to “inspire people around the world to look up at the stars and not down at their feet.”
Read the obituary in The Guardian.